Statue of a Lamassu (COPY)
Human-headed winged bulls were protective genies called shedu or lamassu, and were placed as guardians at certain gates or doorways of the city and the palace. Symbols combining man, bull, and bird, they offered protection against enemies. These Lamassu protected and supported important doorways in Assyrian palaces. The head, the only human element, whose ears are those of a bull, has a man's bearded face with very precisely modeled features. The eyes are expressive, the thick eyebrows meet above a prominent nose. The kindly mouth is surmounted by a thin mustache. A curly beard covers the jaw and chin, while the hair falls down to the shoulders, framing the face. This human head wears a starred tiara, flanked by pairs of horns and topped by a row of feathers.